16/44.1 is frought with problems too great to get into on this forum. The biggest problem outside of error correction is it assumes that sounds outside the 20-20,000 Hz range does not affect audible sound. It does, and that is why CDs sound thin and lifeless.
I know the CD proponants will take exception to this but the medium is fatally flawed. SACD has much more potential, but there will be the learning curve with it just like redbook CD. Early digital recordings sounded dismal. In the last twenty years recording studio engineers have learned to use the format so new recordings are listenable.
LPs do not have these limitations. The frequency response is not unlimited, but it is far greater than CD, or digital formats.
The fact that SACD became a reality is an admission that CD was a flawed format.
Let the fireworks begin!!!
I'm no engineer but, seems to me since analog is continuous and CDs are based on sampling the CDs can't be a more exact copy.
While i woul disagree that all cd's sound lifeless, i will agree that sonic information outside the human hearing range does effect the way you hear the frequencys within the range.
As to weather or not CD's are a more exact copy...
I would be very hesitant to agree with that statement. Mainly for the pure fact that digital is nothing more than a "Representation" of analog. Break a signwave into digital and it goes from a smooth wave to a step-ladder look. Im sure logic processors might to a great job to smooth that wave out, it doesent garauntee it will be an exact replication of the origional wave.
Ive always wondered personally about Records and how exact they are as well. Do records erode from too much use? if so, then a record will be the best copy, untill it gets played too many times.
Dont know much about records, so i guess i better keep my nose outta that.
It only takes a small understanding of digital and analog, PCM and TDM to understand that digital can never theretically reach the resolution of analog. However digital takes a hell of alot less bandwidth and can sound extremly close to analog.
I guess it is the smallest of nuances that are left out.
as well as a large inaudible frequency range that really DOES matter
Great care must be taken with each to get anything thats even close to the real thing. I have listened to great recordings on tape, vinyl and cd and doubt I could ever pick a clear winner in my mind. If you like vinyl..go for vinyl and don't even worry what someone else thinks is best.
This forum along with all the others I visit have a constant stream of threads from people asking: Whats The Best? Well, the best is what YOU like IMO.
As with most engineering problems the answer does not lie in the underlying theory, but in the ability to best implement an approximation to the theory. These threads always get caught up in various misunderstandings of Nyquists sampling theory, quantization noise etc etc. I believe that the theories don't help us to explain whether redbook CD is better or worse than LP, since implementation of digital systems introduces errors (jitter being the main one) that are not accounted for by the simple theoretical models.
A sampled and quantized signal can IN THEORY exactly represent a bandlimited, limited dynamic range analog waveform, such that there would be absolutely no difference between the reconstructed analog waveform and the original waveform.
So, that said, I firmly believe that, in theory redbook CD can more accurately represent the sound of the master tape, since it has better linearity, dynamic range, signal to noise, channel separation etc etc etc than vinyl. Whether this is borne out in practise or not depends on many many real world variables, such as the quality of the ADCs and DACs, the mastering, the levels of jitter in recording, mastering, playback etc, anti-aliasing filter in the ADC, the implementation of a reconstruction filter.
However, those who write that digital can never be as good as analog because the digital signal looks like a little staircase (quantization noise is the technical term) are missing the point. Don't look to the theory ... look to the implementation.
I guess I should be clear that the point of my post is to say "That's a very complex question with an extremely complex answer, and I really don't know enough to know the answer". However I do know that there isn't a simple answer, so don't let anyone tell you there is.
I think the previous poster said it all ... let your ears decide.
The prevailing opinion of those professionals who regularly compare live to recorded sound, namely recording engineers, is that digital, even in the 44.1 format, is a more accurate representation of the sound actually produced by the musicians in the studio/concert hall. That said, a majority of engineers prefer analog tape to digital recorders because even though it isn't as accurate, it simply sounds "better". Whether or not you prefer the euphonic inaccuracies of vinyl is a personal choice, but digital is typically closer to the actual sound of the master tape.
BTW, I actually agree with Nrchy in that the red book digital standard is flawed, but anybody who actually understands how vinyl is made also knows how totally inadequate it is as a medium for conveying the sound of the master tapes.
Seandtaylor99, I think you are right about people getting hung-up in theory, although a good theory is a very practical thing. The implementation is of utmost importance. There are radicals on both sides of the great divide. The little staircase argument is always a good one and leads to the smoothness/continuousness vs. the harshness/ something is missing in this music position. Strangely enough if one stops to think about it, the way an LP works can also be thought of as a number of discrete vibrations of a stylus that has to get to some sort of "discontinuousness" at some point.
I think that it is really interesting that the the engineer is concerned about which media compares more closely to the master tape rather than to actual live musicians playing in a hall.
I agree with Seandtaylor. It is not so much the resolving power of the recording method as the resolving power of the listener! Ex. Visual reproduction using film, which is played back at 24-32 frames/sec looks fully resolved because our eyes can only distinquish discrete frames if played back at slower speeds than 24 frames/sec.
Notice how tactfully I am refraining from this discussion?
Too many times, too many times.
So having said that the theory may not be conclusive, and that the implementation may be the key I would guess that redbook CD would store a more accurate copy of a recording than vinyl.
Now here's my getout clause: I'm somewhat familiar with the imperfections of CD recording and playback, being an EE by trade and having done some signal processing (though not much .. I'm mostly a software guy). Vinyl on the other hand I'm not very familiar with, though I do know that the medium presents physical limitations that require a pre-emphasis/de-emphasis curve, that it suffers from surface noise, and that, like all mechanical systems, it requires very precise setup. Although I enjoy my LPs I've always suspected that this may be due to an agreeable coloration of the sound on an LP, versus the cold, harsh reality of CDs.
At the end of the day I like listening to both sources, though I tend to favour CDs for classical just because of the quiet background. And finally I'm a firm believer that the medium (whether it be CD, vinyl, or horror ... cassette) is less important than the rooms (recording and playback) the quality of the microphones, and the diligence of the engineer.
cds store ones and zeros, not sound.
Actually, 99, I have some very good Advent cassette recordings that sound great over my NAK 600 player!
I have had the chance to compare digitally recorded material played back through vinyl medium and CD. Guess which one "sounds" best. It can't be because there is more information available on the vinyl. maybe because something is added?
"Euphonic Colorations"... penned by Resphigi of course.
I remember well that glorious Reiner/CSO/RCA shaded dog.
CD fans can buy the re-release on Living Stereo Digital,
Well, digital isn't so bad as before. And mass market LPs were much worse right when cds first came out than thirty years berore or twenty since. And digital should get much better and cheaper. But not today. Nothing is accurate. Every thing matters. Digital masters are better than before so it makes sense to stay with them in a good digital format. But 'more accurate' is a case by case call. It almost is a senseless question because the answer is so complex. Even the accuracy of a digital tape says nothing about what gets on the disc or what happens during playback. And so it was with LP. The essence of digital error correction is smearing by guessing. But in the last ten years we have gotten more out of LPs then we ever dreamed was in them lovely little walls. LP sales are up the last fourteen and CD is down. And it was for nine years before Napster. My daughter has hundreds of pieces on her computer, but just try and take away her records. Most of the best at the end of the day is still AAA. Even when the day comes that SACD or DAD surpasses analog, which might first come through surround sound, I will be long dead before the difference will have been good enough to have made me melt my records.
Aroc, the only medium that stores sound is our mind.
Asa buddy, where are you? This is the second time today that you've come to mind.
16 bits do not provide enough data space for complex music for orchestra or big band Jazz. To put all music into CD format simply compress data, and therefore lost some information for complex music. Therefore, playing CD seems like there are only 5 violins in orchestra, but you hear maybe 10 from good tape or LP, for example. Upsampling only make these 5 violin sounds more refined but it is still 5 violin (no way you can add data back! Upsampling can't add more violins but make existing ones clear). SACD with moer bits will help. For LP, maybe those 10 violins do not have very precice tone comapred to CD because of warp of LP or bad print, but the info was there due to the larger data base, namely dynamic range in audio(no way you can add violins by elecronic equipments first either!).
So, inpep..., trust your ears and there is solid science behind it too. Do you really think a machine know how to add music to Beethoven?
Your ears already told you the truth, don't reject it because being lazy to study science.
Pick some music with 100 people performing from low to high volume. Let yours ears tell you what is going on.
One violin or a hundred violins, there is only one signal (voltage variation over time) per channel. The fidelity with which this analog signal can be represented by a series of numbers (voltages at times) which is the digital method, is precisely known from the resolution (number of voltage values available, bits) and the frequency at which the value is updated. Fidelity of analog recording is much harder to quantify, because the errors are also analog and vary greatly. In addition to distortion of the signal, the analog media introduce various errors that are unrelated to the music, and overlay it. Turntable rumble, LP surface noise, tape hiss, etc. Theoretically the music exists in the analog signal down to infinitely low levels, and with infinitely fine resolution, but this cannot be heard because it is masked, at some level, by the noise. Analog technology strives to reduce the noise level so that masking of the music signal occurs at lower volume level. Digital technology is intended to provide resolution equal to or better than what can be obtained in the real world by analog equipment. 16 bit 44.1 KHz is OK for the typical mass market audio systems, but is really cutting it close, when compared against the best analog equipment. 24-bit 96KHz should leave analog in the dust, but this may not always be the case because mastering of the recording (disc or LP) plays such an important part in overall audio quality.
The idea that an analog recording includes very low level information that is masked by noise is supported by work that has been done to recover historic recordings made almost a hundred years ago. Of course, these are of terrible audio quality when listened to "straight". However, these recordings can be digitized and processed in various ways to separate the music signal from all the noise, and the results are quite astonishing. High frequency response is particularly surprising. The HF stuff actually is on those ancient recordings, but so greatly attenuated that you wouldn't think that it was there at all until the signal is reprocessed. All of this is working at a noise level that is much higher than that on the typical LP, but it does illustrate the point that music information is present in analog recordings, even if unheard, below the noise threshold.
Bluefin, I am not too lazy to study science as shown by Eldartford's response, but I certainly won't study what you call science! My lord, recording 100 violins needs a larger data base than 5! Please.
Direct to disc recording of long playing records skips the need for any storage on analog or digital tape and some live in the studio radio broadcasts do not subject the signal to any storage media at all.
Bluefin is a very confused individual when it comes to understanding music reproduciton. We are all free to listen to whatever we like. Seems there are always three sides to every audio story: the analog, the digital and the facts.
Viridian, at the risk of being petty, even a live in the studio broadcast, regardless of how temporary, is a storage medium. Ditto direct to disc recordings. Neither stores sound. Now, music boxes, well, I just don't know.
Hey all .. found this interesting link ....
It blurs the distinction between digital and vinyl in an interesting way